MAN MEETS BEAR - I Want To Be A Gallant Rider Like My Father Was Before Me

Man Meets Bear - I Want To Be A Gallant Rider Like My Father Was Before Me

23 songs
56:32 minutes
***** ***
Ur Audio-Visual


In the past I was always pointing out how many records Man Meets Bear had already released. Last time, he was somewhere over twenty, so imagine my surprise when I revisited his Bandcamp page today and discovered that all but five have disappeared. The latest one of those comes with the lengthy title I Want To Be A Gallant Rider Like My Father Was Before Me and is Soren Brothers, the mastermind behind Man Meets Bear, second album on Uur Audio-Visual, released as a very limited release cassette (30 editions) and as a digital download.

The new album comes with twenty-three tracks, ten of which are titled ___ and are actually white spaces that together amount to not even three minutes. So no reason to skip these really short items whose primary goal is to separate the different tracks. This time, the music seems once again more experimental, which shouldnít mean that Man Meets Bearís music was accessible or catchy in the past. The album was recorded over two weeks in a winter in Toronto and deals with the interconnectedness between the big city and the nature all around it. Maybe itís because one of my favourite TV series of all times is Northern Exposure, but despite Gallant Riderís unusual structure, I still find a lot to like in its eerie song material. The tracks vary between ethereal folk ballads and trippy space psyche elaborations, all of this clad in a very lo-fi sound that gives the music nonetheless a clear and above all a homogenous sound that really gives you the impression of a soundtrack recorded at the city limits of this Northern metropolis.

It's really hard to describe this kind of music, but think of experimental psychedelic rock bands like Jackie O Motherfucker and Bardo Pond, and you might have an inkling of what to expect from Soren Brothers. In the end, he still sounds different, and deserves to be checked out of people that could imagine enjoying a mix of strangely mixed musical instruments with the charm of a field recording. I always like this album best on the longer tracks, like The Humber (6 minutes) and Fortunately We Survived (7 minutes), as these trippy tracks owe something to the weirdness of space rock and due to their more generous length allow the listener to really immerse himself in the moment. I grant you that this is not an album for everyone, but those who like their music more daring and adventurous will be delighted by this new effort from Man Meets Bear.

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